AuditAnother year has come and gone — well, it’s not gone completely, but it is going. Back in January, I posted about the possibilities of the new year and encouraged readers to take time each month to focus on building stronger content marketing skills. The great news is that if you started the journey with me 12 months ago, then you’ve grown in unimaginable ways. The good news is that if you didn’t start or didn’t keep up, the information lives on, here on CorpNet, and you can follow along at your own pace in the way that works best for you.

Over the past months, I’ve delved into how to improve your social media presence, best practices for promoting your brand, and the best way to develop steady content for your blog in addition to many other strategies. This month I’ll examine some of the most important approaches to use when conducting a digital marketing audit. If your body tensed up when you read the word ‘audit,’ stay calm. This method is straightforward. The most important thing is to have a sharp eye and be honest with yourself about which efforts are working and which are not.

1. How much interaction are you getting on social sites?

Your brand has a presence on all the appropriate social media sites and you’re creating consistent and custom content for each channel, but how many new followers are you amassing? It definitely takes some time to build an audience, but if you aren’t seeing a growth pattern, you probably need to make adjustments to your strategy.

Are your posts getting retweets and shares? If not, your posts may be missing something or you may not be posting enough to get on the radar of your followers. What do your direct comments look like? If it’s part of your strategy, are you engaging followers in a one-to-one approach? At its essence, this question asks you to analyze whether or not your social media posts are hitting their marks. If not, it may be time for an overhaul of your game plan.

2. What does your blog traffic look like?

Are the bulk of your social media posts directing traffic to your site? Are they actually driving traffic? You can use Google Analytics or other tools depending on the content management system you use to see the source of your traffic. If your posts are pushing traffic to your site, congratulations. If not, you may have to look deeper at your social content to see why you aren’t engaging your target audience.

Remember, you can use your content like blog posts in multiple ways. A great social post is more than a title and link. One great way to capitalize on your blog posts is to pull significant points out of your posts and use those points to generate bite-size teasers to use on social media. For example, a great tweet to promote this post would be “Are you sure you’re getting the most out of your digital marketing?” with a link to this post. Another might be “Tips on using a digital media audit to build an audience.” Both direct attention to the heart of the post, but state the topic in very different ways.

3. If you do advertising, what are the results?

Advertising is a great way to build an audience. Both Twitter and Facebook offer the ability to purchase ads for modest fees. While you might feel that ‘organic’ growth is more sustainable in the long term, purchased ads can be a strategic way to build an audience very quickly. Last year a small brand with which I’m familiar decided that a small outlay for the purchase of ads to build a more robust audience on a social site made sense. They hoped to double their audience with this investment. By the end of the two week campaign, they were able to quadruple their audience. This was a success by any metric. The great thing is that they had a goal and were measuring results, so that they could see if their efforts had conclusive results. They now use ads at strategic points to keep building their audience.

4. Looking at your results, what can you glean? How can you change things to try to improve results?

Like any other effort in your business, you may be pursuing strategies with limited results. A digital marketing audit will help you identify areas of success and areas of deficiency. While some marketing tactics may take time to show results, you should try to measure whether or not you are making progress. Just like you check your gas gauge to see if you need more fuel or look at your tachometer to make sure your not overtaxing your car’s engine, you need to look at metrics to determine which efforts are showing results and which one are not and make adjustments accordingly.